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Browns give up on Quinn, trade former first rounder to Broncos for Hillis

Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com reports that the Broncos have acquired quarterback Brady Quinn from the Browns in exchange for fullback Peyton Hillis and two conditional draft picks. Glazer doesn’t provide any details outside of that, so it it’s unknown at this point what round the two draft picks are for.

Even though his dream was to be a Brown, this is a good situation for Quinn. In Denver, he’ll have the opportunity to run the exact same offense that he ran at Notre Dame, although he’ll have to beat out Tom Brandstater and Chris Simms to earn the right to backup Kyle Orton. Still, if he proves that he can run Josh McDaniels’ offense, he still has a chance to become a regular starter in this league.

As for the Browns, the recent signing of Jake Delhomme virtually secured a one-way ticket for Quinn out of Cleveland. Mike Holmgren hasn’t made his desire to upgrade the Browns’ quarterback position a secret and now Delhomme will battle Seneca Wallace for the team’s starting job.

It is still unclear at this point whether or not Holmgren will draft a quarterback in April. Neither Delhomme nor Wallace has long-term upside, so Holmgren will eventually have to add a young QB to the mix at some point. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll do it in April’s draft. He may have his eye on a potential free agent or believe that the quarterback class in 2011 is a stronger crop than the 2010 class. Who knows at this point.

I wrote more about the Browns’ quarterback situation this morning. You can read the post by clicking here.

Update: The Browns also traded Kamerion Wimbley to the Raiders for undisclosed draft compensation.


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Offseason Blueprint: Cleveland Browns

Notable Free Agents: Sean Jones, S; Andra Davis, LB; Willie McGinest, LB.

Projected 2009 Cap Space: $17,000,000

Draft Order: 5

Top Needs: Two years after signing LeCharles Bentley to a huge contract only to watch him suffer a career-ending knee injury on the first day of training camp, the Browns are once again in need of a center to bolster the interior of their offensive line. The team is also expected to beef up the linebacker corps and possibly add another defensive end for depth. Wide receiver and running back will also likely be addressed.

Offseason Outlook: Word has it that the Browns are already shopping quarterback Derek Anderson (the Jets have emerged as a possible suitor), which means Brady Quinn will likely become the unquestioned starter next season under center. But perhaps the majority of changes for the Browns this offseason will once again be made on the defensive side of the ball – especially in the front seven.

Adding defensive tackle Shaun Rogers via a trade with Detroit last offseason proved to be an outstanding move. Rogers was worth the risk (he was labeled as being lazy in Motown) and had a major impact along Cleveland’s defensive line last year. Corey Williams, another player the Browns added via offseason trade last offseason, was hamstrung with various injuries last season but showed his grit by playing hurt and is a steady player when healthy.

With the Browns set at those two positions on the D-line, they’ll turn their attention to the defensive end spot opposite Williams. Robaire Smith emerged as a quality playmaker in 2007, but a ruptured Achilles tendon cut his season short after only two games last year and the team was stuck with Shaun Smith, who proved to hit players more off the field (ask Brady Quinn), then he did on it. Don’t count on Cleveland upgrading this position in the first round of the draft because there simply isn’t a 3-4 end worth taking at No. 5, but the spot will be addressed at some point. Plus before his season-ending injury last year, Robaire Smith had only missed one game in the previous six seasons so if he can come back healthy, the starting job should remain his.


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